Old Cardinal Gem Mine
Old Cardinal Gem Mine
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
We are a little rustic gem mine in Franklin NC , We welcome you to our gem mine. Thanks Darcel Charles, Morgan & Isaiah
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
126 reviews
Excellent
111
Very good
8
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
5

jeff t
2 contributions
Jun 2020 • Family
This place was awesome 6stars, great people working there. Very knowledgeable and fun. The prices were very fair from 20dollars on up for native mine dirt, right on there property. We foubd a 700 ct Ruby and a 300+ Ruby in our 20dollar dirt bags. We also found many gorgeous Moonstone and Rhodolite Garnets. Clean rest room, easy to find location and beautiful country. HIGHLY recommend, after 40 years of co.ing to Franklin area finally found the Mother Lode...great for any family. Plenty of enriched dirt available for the little kids. We brought a 14yr old girl, an special needs boy and my 80 year old mom, as well as wife and i. Great fun go to Old Cardinal Mine. Guarantee you will come home with lots of special and pretty rocks and gems.
Written June 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

epsharon
Muskego, WI422 contributions
Mar 2021 • Family
This place is off the beaten path but don’t let that deter you. Our kids had a blast and Morgan really went above and beyond to make the experience memorable. You have the choice of mining for gems or fossils and different size buckets at different price points. You can take your time and Morgan was able to help us identify our finds and took the time to separate the different gems into zip lock bags and label them for you. You won’t find that level of service from those tourist trap mines. It is family owned and operated. They even offer a service (done by owner) to cut the gem of choice and convert into a jewelry piece which they will mail to you or you can pick up later in week if staying in area. This was definitely a highlight so far of our vacation and that is after staying in the Gatlinburg area and doing a bunch of fun stuff already.
Written March 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wandering Woman
Miami, FL3 contributions
Oct 2019 • Family
I have visited this place 2x, once in January 2019 and then again In October 2019. The first time was two adults and the second time was with a family with three kids. I enjoyed it immensely and was hopeful that the kids would like it too.We found quite a few stones that are usable in jewelry although not gemstone quality. When we asked the kids their favorite activity on our trip they said that it was mining!
The staff here is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I will be returning.
I Highly recommend it- but be prepared to get dirty!
.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CocoMiami
Miami, FL54 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
I would have given them a big ZERO if it was a raining option. This place is a scam, I paid $40 for a so called “NC gems’ bucket and only a small citrine was the product of it. They give you a small plastic meshed tray that looks like a toy and some cans to dig into your bucket. They are not helpful, probably because these kids they have working, have no idea of what to look for. Every time I asked what I was getting, the response was “stones”. They only take cash, Zelle or PayPal, no cards. If you have some value to your money, stay away.
We went to Rose creek mine and it was amazing.
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca A
Chicago, IL38 contributions
Jun 2022
My family and I spend time every summer in Franklin, as extended family lives in the area. We visit Rose Creek Mine each year for gem mining. This year, however, Rose Creek was closed for restocking during our trip so we decided to try Old Cardinal. The owners were friendly enough, and the gem mining experience was still fun, but we did not receive very many actual gems for the price. The$40 embellished bucket procured a small handful of gemstones and the other 2/3 of items were rocks. My son was happy to take some of the rocks also, but having experienced Rose Creek, this was a major disappointment. For the same price at Rose Creek, one walks away with 10-15 bags of very special and large size gemstones that are individually bagged and labeled by the owners. If it is the only option available, Old Cardinal will do the trick, but if at all possible, go to Rose Creek.
The roaming roosters and chickens were amusing, except they had to roam through piles of debris and cargo shipping containers.
Written June 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mlatherton
Spencer, IA13 contributions
Jun 2020
This mine is in dire need of cleaning. You’ll find that nothing has been repaired or cleaned up for years. Instead of gravel they’ve spread layers of cardboard boxes to walk on. They provide dollar store plastic baskets to use for panning. We’ve been to many of the gem mines in the area and this one is deplorable. You get very few gems for your money. The two young teenagers, running the mine live there with their grandmother, are knowledgeable but left me feeling pretty sorry for them. Their “gift shop” is a living room with blankets covering most of the ??? And such a thick layer of dust on everything else. A very unpleasant experience. The pictures on their web site must be quite old. I pray for those young people, hoping for better days ahead.
Written June 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John R
Pompano Beach, FL1 contribution
Sep 2020
My wife and I had a great time!! We found nice gems!! Morgan was amazing!! She took the time to bag and label each type of gem stone. We have been to other gem mines and never had this much attention. Nice family run business!!
Written October 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RaiderRed162
Florida49 contributions
May 2020
We recently enjoyed spending a couple of hours at the Old Cardinal Gem Mine. Although we had "panned for gold" a few places in the past this was our first time mining for gems. The Old Cardinal Gem Mine is family owned and operated by one of the nicest families you'll ever meet. Morgan, Isaiah and their grandmother, Darcel were so friendly and helpful throughout the entire experience. Morgan has great knowledge of the gems as well as the processes of turning them into jewelry and keepsakes. We had so much fun going through our first bucket of "seeded" dirt that we purchased a second one. We're taking home some beauties, but more importantly we left with some great memories.
Written May 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Donna W
1 contribution
Jan 2022 • Family
We had such a great time! This gem mine is owned and operated by a wonderful family. The owner and her 2 grandchildren (teenagers) were very welcoming. Her teenage grandson was so helpful and knowledgeable about the different gems. We found some really cool gems. We will definitely visit again the next time we are in NC.
Written January 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mike R
1 contribution
Mar 2022
We were thrilled with the variety and quality of gemstones we found, but the greatest treasure by far is the friendly family that own and operate the Old Cardinal Gem Mine! Morgan and Isaiah are delightful. They both were very attentive and identified every stone. We were extremely impressed with their maturity beyond their years, sense of humor, and extensive knowledge. We plan to go back again later this week.
Written March 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Old Cardinal Gem Mine (Franklin) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Old Cardinal Gem Mine

Old Cardinal Gem Mine is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM